[Another reprint from my Sidelines writing. Enjoy!]
It was my extraordinary beauty that attracted my husband to me all those years ago, and me to him, beauty that, in our eyes, was excellent, or we would not have married each other.
I am not bragging. It is the same with any woman and any man who is married not by coercion or as a matter of convenience. Something beautiful therein lies. Something magnetic and excellent enough that either you or your spouse caused the dating wheel to stop, and you both began to play the game where it lay.
Are you still beautiful? What was his beauty? What was her beauty? What was your beauty, and is it still there? Was it your cooking? Was it the way you walked, or the way your eyes showed deep appreciation? Was it your sharp insight, or your endless patience that clothed him in an acceptance that never ended?
Again, what is your beauty? You need to know, and to keep tabs on it as it evolves, and perhaps as it changes. It probably will.
Marriage is a journey, an obstacle course of sandpits and steeple chases. Occasionally looking in the mirror, even gazing into one’s navel, is sometimes required in order to right a wrong course.
In my eyes, my own beauty lie not just in the shape of my eyes or the curve of my hips, although those are also where it lies for him. My beauty lies in the timber of my heart, the fierceness of my drive, the quality of my art and life as I greet life every day. I think he likes that, too. My smile doesn’t hurt, even though I’ve broken a tooth recently. Your broken tooth can be fixed, if need be.
I’ve learned, however, to recognize the times when I need to re-set the sails, to pull out the stilettos, to quiet the storm, or to make his heart beat stronger. Sometimes that knowledge sneaks up on me, instead of coming naturally to the fore. It hits me over the head after a particularly momentous storm has passed, a storm where neither one of us saw the clouds before they raged and blew us far from our course. After they’ve passed, we usually need to shelter a while to breathe easily together again.
Do you always see when the clouds are on the horizon? Do you know how to batten down the hatches? Can you learn?
So I’m going to ask you: Do you still make your woman’s heart flutter? Do you still go to work with a drive that is only replenished when you come home at night and plug yourself into her energy, your spouse’s welcoming arms? If not, is it that you are now on that plateau of busy-ness and disconnectedness that makes you aware that it is past time to re-spark the wire and add new spices to your marital agreement, lest you neglect it to a point of no-return? That’s an OK place to be as well: Aware.
So are you still excellent? Were you ever? Are you your best self? If not, it’s OK, because we are not always our best selves, and marriage is supposed to withstand those times, as long as you aim to be your best again some time in the (near) future.
So, where are you?
More importantly, share what you do to re-ignite that spark and keep it going.